WWC Day 6 Wrap: Belle Martire Represents Heritage Where Family Put Down Roots

PHOTO BY KAIT DEVIR


TOWSON, Md. — Belle Martire’s family traces back to the Czech Republic, where her paternal grandmother, Ivana Obst Turner, was born. After Martire’s great-grandparents — Jan Anthony and Eugenie Funda Obst — fled then-Czechoslovakia near the end of World War II, they fled to Germany with their daughter.

Eventually, they came to the U.S. and settled in Baltimore. The family put down its roots in Maryland, with Eugenie Funda Obst working her way up to head chemist at Domino Sugar.

Baltimore means something to the family. Representing the Czech Republic means something to Martire. At the 2022 Women’s World Lacrosse Championship at Towson University, a full-circle celebration of the family’s past and present was realized.

Martire, a 2022 graduate of William & Mary who will play a fifth season with first-year program Clemson next spring, is the tournament’s leading goal scorer through pool play with 22 goals. Her grandmother has been at every game, waving a Czech Republic flag.

“She loves that we’re in Baltimore,” Martire said after scoring seven goals with one assist in a 19-5 win over Sweden on Monday. “To play for the Czech team in front of her in Baltimore is just so meaningful.”

Something of an unheralded star at William & Mary, Martire leaves the program after making three All-CAA teams. She scored 149 goals, produced 182 points and secured 89 draw controls.

It’s that college experience that has made her a leader on a Czech team that practice year-round. Martire’s first experience with the Czech national team was in 2018 at the Prague Cup. A year later, she earned MVP honors at the European Cup when she scored a team-high 24 goals.

As her skills have blossomed, so have her leadership qualities.

“She started playing with us four years ago. She was much younger. She was shy,” Czech Republic head coach Adam Ondráček said. “Now, she’s grown up. She talks more to the team and helps lift them up.”

Martire’s example has helped the Czech Republic to a 4-0 mark in Pool F, earning the team place in the championship bracket, where it will face Germany in the first round on Tuesday.

Also Tuesday: Martire’s master’s degree program in public administration has an evening class.

“I started grad school on May 15, two days before I got my undergrad diploma,” Martire said. “I want to work in politics on the Hill.”

It’ll be a busy day for the Czech star. She wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.







NOTABLE

  • New Zealand finished pool play undefeated after defeating Hong Kong, China, 10-8 in the opening game of Day 5. New Zealand is 4-0 and has secured the eighth seed in the championship bracket. It will face the winner of Pool C, currently led by Japan, in the first round on Tuesday. Keita Perry scored four goals to lead the offense, while Briar Bertram added three, to go along with two ground balls and three draw controls. New Zealand’s goalkeeping duo of Sally Rutherford and Erin Jagger combined for nine saves on 17 shots on goal, which was just enough compared their Hong Kong counterparts, who also faced 17 shots but made seven saves. Read more on New Zealand here.

  • Mexico closed out pool play with a 15-4 victory over Colombia. Mexico finished 3-1 in Pool F and secured second place and the 11th seed in the championship bracket. Mexico will face the winner of Pool B, which is currently led by Israel on Tuesday. Ashleigh Rothe won seven draw controls to go with three goals and an assist. Isabel Szejk added four goals and an assist and ranks third in the tournament in total points with 18.

  • Ireland handled Austria 14-10 to claim second place in Pool D and a spot in the championship bracket. As the 13th seed, Ireland will face the fourth place team from Pool A, which is currently Australia, on Tuesday. Katrina Dowd set the single-game high for points with 10, coming on seven goals and three assists. She contributed to over 70 percent of Ireland’s offensive output. Margaret Egan, the assists leader in Towson, recorded another five helpers to bring her tournament total to 17.

  • Norway battled for an 8-7 win over Korea, its first victory of the tournament. Norway became the second first-time participant to record a win after Puerto Rico. Tale Solfjeld led the offense with three goals and an assist, while goalkeeper Kine Ødegård made eight saves and picked up three ground balls.

  • Wales warded off Austria 15-7 to claim second place in Pool C and a spot in the championship bracket. Wales earned the No. 14 seed and will face the third-place team from Pool A, on Tuesday at Unitas Stadium. Sophy Coombes-Roberts and Iona Dryden both tallied four goals for Wales, while Dryden added five draw controls.

  • Israel finished pool play by easing past the Netherlands 9-5. Israel improved to 4-0 and claimed the top spot in Pool B. Israel enters the championship bracket as the sixth seed, and it will face Mexico, the second-place team from Pool F, tomorrow on Tiger Field. Ali Steinburg Burnard had her fingerprints all over the game with four goals, three ground balls and five draw controls. Goalkeeper Kelly Layton made eight saves on 13 shots.

  • Germany completed its undefeated trip through pool play with a 15-4 win over Jamaica. The Germans finished first in Pool C with a 3-0 record and secured the seventh overall seed. Germany will face the Czech Republic in the round of 16. The defense was on full display again for the Germans, which posted the second-best goals-against-average through pool pool and the best save percentage. Antonia Garbe handled the offensive load for Germany with five goals and two assists along with three draw controls. Kim Dressendörfer poured in five goals.

MONDAY SCORES

New Zealand 10, Hong Kong, China 8
Czech Republic 19, Sweden 5
Mexico 15, Colombia 4
Ireland 14, Austria 10
Norway 8, Korea Republic 7
Wales 15, Austria 7
Israel 9, Netherlands 5
Germany 15, Jamaica 4
United States 15, England 9
Haudenosaunee 20, Argentina 2
Japan 21, Switzerland 1

Scotland vs. Canada, 8 p.m.

TUESDAY SCHEDULE

All games live in the United States on ESPN+

Championship Bracket

9 am: No. 6 Israel vs. No. 11 Mexico, Tiger Field
10 am: No. 3 England vs. No. 14 Wales, Unitas Stadium
12 pm: No. 5 Scotland vs. No. 12 Haudenosaunee, Tiger Field
1 pm: No. 4 Australia vs. No. 13 Ireland, Unitas Stadium
3 pm: No. 7 Germany vs. No. 10 Czech Republic, Tiger Field
4 pm: No. 2 Canada vs. No. 15 Puerto Rico, Unitas Stadium
6 pm: No. 8 New Zealand vs. No. 9 Japan, Tiger Field
7 pm: No. 1 United States vs. No. 16 Hong Kong, China, Unitas Stadium 

Platinum Bracket

9 am: No. 22 Switzerland vs. No. 27 Spain, Lower Field
10:30 am: No. 21 Sweden vs. No. 28 Argentina, Burdick Field
12 pm: No. 20 Latvia vs. No. 29 Colombia, Lower Field
3 pm: No. 23 Austria vs. No. 26 Korea, Lower Field
6 pm: No. 24 Jamaica vs. No. 25 Norway, Lower Field 

No. 17 Italy, bye
No. 18 China, bye
No. 19 Netherlands, bye

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